Act on Impulse

Act on Impulse


Exile the top three cards of your library. Until end of turn, you may play cards exiled this way. (If you cast a spell this way, you still pay its costs. You can play a land this way only if you have an available land play remaining.)

Latest Decks as Commander

Act on Impulse Discussion

carpecanum on Prosper, The Thief

3 months ago

Grinning Totem allows you to cast an opponents spell from exile. (one extra Treasure, meh, but its in the theme)

Act on Impulse, Valakut Exploration

Revel in Riches is a wincon

Tylord2894 on When exactly is a spell …

1 year ago

You can not use Eight-and-a-Half-Tails's second ability to trigger Ivory Cup.

It's important to remember that Magic is almost 30 years old, so the wording that is printed on cards is very much subject to change. The update Oracle text of Ivory Cup uses "cast" instead of "played". I don't know what this change occurred, but a spell is not considered "played" anymore. It is always considered to be "cast" (there's an "exception" to this that I'll talk about later).

When casting a spell, there's a series of steps that the caster goes through, selecting modes/divisions/targets, determining costs, paying for costs, etc. The very last step in the process is declaring a spell to be "cast". That is when Ivory Cup will trigger. Since there is not an opportunity for you to resolve before that point, you can not use Eight-and-a-Half-Tails to change that spell to be white.

Now, this "exception" to the rule that "spells are only ever cast." Some cards will allow you to "play cards" from somewhere. For example, most "Impluse" effects (like the eponymous Act on Impulse) say that you can "play cards exiled this way". What this is trying to say in only a few words is that "you may cast spells or play lands exiled with Act on Impulse".

Hope this helps!!

Tzefick on How would you give white …

1 year ago

TL;DR: The pre-text is LONG. Sorry about that, but there's a lot to unfold about the subject. If you just want to skip down to the suggestions I brainstormed, go below the first set of 3 lines.

It is no secret that the Commander community for a long time has regarded white as one of the weaker colors in Commander, especially as a monocolor. Many have pointed their fingers at how well the color achieves mana ramp and card draw/advantage.

White actually do have a small slew of card advantage and ramp cards or cards that in essence cheats the requirement for mana.

White has raw card draw in Mentor of the Meek and Dawn of Hope, although hidden behind a requirement in form of a trigger. Both are triggers that are fairly easy to achieve but not without costs. Not to forget Sram, Senior Edificer (and Puresteel Paladin) - but again behind a trigger requiring a very specific type of deck building. White has additional card advantage through regaining access to cards once lost, like through a Sun Titan getting back small permanents, or Nomad Mythmaker, Order of Whiteclay, or Bishop of Rebirth.

White has ramp in form of Knight of the White Orchid and Kor Cartographer and pseudo card advantage in good ol' Land Tax. The knight has a requirement that you need to be behind to actually ramp, and that aspect goes again in many of white's attempts to imitate ramp and card draw. White can only catch up, they cannot get ahead. These aspects are most recently seen through Verge Rangers (pseudo card advantage - not ramp, you don't get access to more lands than 1 per turn) and through Cartographer's Hawk. There's also Oath of Lieges but that is a symmetrical effect and may as well just benefit some of your opponents as much as it does you.

White can cheat the requirement for mana in a few instances, like casting Resurrection on a higher costing creature, an aspect they share with black and often a favorite when the two are paired. Where they differ is that black usually does it for less mana at another resource expense, and that black has different means to get those creatures out into your graveyard to set it all up. White has none of these opportunities/advantages.

This thread mainly aims to discuss white getting card draw/advantage in the Commander format and how they would achieve it to fit their color identity, but we can talk about the Commander format in general as well. To clarify, the topic is aimed at discussing how white could get card draw/advantage and not really whether or not they should - do feel free to voice your opinion for or against but please keep it limited and instead focus on how card draw could fit into white's color identity. It doesn't necessarily have to be from a place within the current color identity, but could be exploring new design space that hasn't been seen before.

Let's examine how other colors achieve card advantage:

Blue is super easy and the main color that achieves it, they usually do it straight as an investment for the specific purpose of gaining more resources; Concentrate. Blue also has access to looting options where they draw cards and discard cards (or the other way around); Merfolk Looter / Tolarian Winds. Blue also has the largest collection of cards with Flashback, so even once Blue uses a resource from their hand, they can do it again from their graveyard; Deep Analysis - although these cards are usually more costly than their non-flashback peers.

Black is also relatively easy as they imitate blue's investment but at an additional cost; Night's Whisper. As previously stated black can also access their graveyard like white and reuse mainly creatures that have died or otherwise put into the graveyard (from say an Entomb) by using Animate Dead or Zombify. Black's ability even goes beyond their own graveyard and dip into their opponent's graveyard. Black also have some aspect of self-discarding, usually as a symmetrical effect that aims at harming their opponents while still being able to access the cards they lost themselves; like Cunning Lethemancer.

Red is relatively new on this block, as they have for a long while had many of the same issues as white. Red did however have cards that looted (drawing and discarding cards) in the concept of picking up the strongest of a larger selection of cards - this is also called card filtering as you don't get an advantage in resources, only the selection. However red also has a selection of cards with flashback or activated or triggered abilities from the graveyard. With the introduction of impulse draw - so named from Act on Impulse, where red exiles a number of cards from the top of their library for the ability to play those for a limited time. Thus red has achieved temporary card draw.

Green is one of the richest colors in the color pie at the moment, having access to a lot of control cards, protective measures, card advantage, ramp and swingy plays. It is no wonder to me how green is one of the stronger colors in Commander. Green has access to some very strong card advantage cards that fits right into the slow format of Commander. Rishkar's Expertise is a favorite as it combines the Commander format's slow pace, green's affinity for big creatures, and a powerful swing in resources, all in one card. Another is the ability to draw from creatures being cast or entering the battlefield. Outside the slow Commander format, you don't really see these types of cards, but within the format they are strong and valuable. Green also has access to the most flexible way to reuse cards from the graveyard through Eternal Witness, Greenwarden of Murasa, Road of Return - road and Myth Unbound are even commander specific benefits that makes casting your commander cheaper, within the color with the most access to mana acceleration. So the color that needs it the least has ways to reduce their mana demand on casting their commander. I would argue this aspect should have been placed within white and/or blue more than in green. Black is getting in on it with Netherborn Altar, so in the future we might see the other colors circumventing the commander tax in some fashion.

White has very few card draw cards (the best of which are mentioned above) and all are locked behind some kind of condition that is not insignificant, compared to something like Beast Whisperer.

It would seem white lacks behind quite a bit in this aspect. When a color cannot do something itself or not very well, they usually seek toward artifacts to fix their issues. Here you can utilize Mind's Eye or Loreseeker's Stone or Arcane Encyclopedia or Book of Rass or Endless Atlas or Skullclamp or Tome of Legends to name a handful of the better variants. What most of these have in common is that they are expense to cast or maintain or require some specific deck building choices to function.

If the general consensus of Commander players are to be taken into account along with the perceived strength of each color, it would seem these artifacts are not enough to help white overcome its lack of card draw. Furthermore white's other strengths doesn't seem to have enough impact to offset this lack.

The general argument I have seen against providing white with card advantage is; it breaks the color pie, white can utilize artifacts to fix their weaknesses to some extend, white's strengths comes from mass land destruction, taxing (Thalia, Guardian of Thraben) and hatebears (Aven Mindcensor). Again I don't really want this thread to be overshadowed about arguing for/against White getting card draw into their color identity, let's just assume white eventually will get card draw - how would that look like?

Brief discussion on the counter arguments Show

I really like the way WotC incorporated card draw into red, as impulse draw feels red but it is card draw and it helps red smooth out some edges it may have in especially multiplayer formats, such as Commander.

So, if we assume white is eventually going to get card draw, how would it look like? Here's a couple of ideas for concepts on how to incorporate a card draw mechanic with white flavor.


Good ol' taxing. We already have Smothering Tithe, so something similar to Rhystic Study could be a possibility. It could be an aura you put on a land, so whenever it is tapped that opponent pays mana or grants you card draw. It doesn't necessarily have to be mana that is taxed, it could also just be the action/trigger itself that is the tax.

A taxing example Show

Warring / "spoils of war"

White is the most militarized color that deals in organized military strategy, being the main color for the creature types Soldier and Knight. White is often associated with combat and attacking as well. Perhaps it should be used to its advantage and provide some means to acquire card draw - figure it a substitute for roleplay wise gaining lands / trade routes / power / intelligence.

Example of war "spoils" Show


I actually really like the idea of this one, although it may be harder to properly accomplish.

White has before had trades happening like Armistice and Bargain. There's also the advocates and Benevolent Offering but they are not unique to white and is a set mechanic. It's been a while since this was part of white's color pie, but it could be again.

Example on trading Show

The flavor is there, as white is a color of community and peace, so trading seems like a natural byproduct. I really like the political aspect from this mechanic when considering multiplayer formats.


An alternative to direct card draw; you choose a card type (instant, sorcery, creature, land, artifact, enchantment, planeswalker) and then look at top X cards of your library, you may reveal a card of the chosen type and put it into hand, put the rest on the bottom of your library in any order.

This reflects the Commune with Nature (which is a green card I know) but it seems to fit white's color pie as the more religious color, to ask the gods/divine/faith for a boon and maybe it is answered, maybe not. Obviously you can deck tech to increase your chances but the idea is a card draw that is not guaranteed. Under the right circumstances it can be stronger than a card draw as it may filter.

Example on Divination Show

Honor the ancestors

I really wanted to create some kind of mechanic that allowed white to dump cards into their graveyard, to synergize with white's inherent ability to generate card advantage through recurring permanents, especially low CMC permanents. As it stands white needs to cast those smaller permanents and have them put into the graveyard from the battlefield - thus making these recurring effects a lot more narrow than their black and even green brethren, who can more easily set up these beneficial plays. But it doesn't seem very much like a white thing to self-mill, ala Surveil, nor do they discard. For white to have this particular synergy you would have to make them gain it without much prior precedent.

One thing that seemed sort of within the flavor of white would be to honor the ancestors, remember the history, keep to the traditions. I think you could work that flavor into some kind of mechanic that could work to white's advantage.

Examples on Honoring the Ancestors Show

Anyway, that's just what I brainstormed for. Like I said before I really liked the flavor on red's card draw and I want white to get something similar. Do you like any of my suggestions or think you can refine them? How would you give white card draw that is flavorful?

Ziusdra on Card creation challenge

1 year ago

I wanted to put in a clause that also gave it the ability to flicker itself, but there was too much text already and I didn't want to change what it had. You can already put in a countless number of flicker/blink effects and he gives you a reason to flicker him. He also synergizes with Adventures, with temporary and long-lasting exile effects (i.e. Furious Rise , Act on Impulse , escape mechanics, your creatures getting removed by things like Oblivion Ring and Chained to the Rocks , suspend, etc.)

Wildcard is still on the table, just wanted to share my thoughts

Brynx on Torbran, Thane of Incremental Damage

1 year ago


I'm going to try Skullclamp and Endless Atlas instead of Goblin Rabblemaster and Wheel of Fate . They're cheap enough to be able to fit one of them in with a little rejigging. I feel that I will prefer Skullclamp, but testing will tell. Wheel of Fate might also get the axe in favor of Magus of the Wheel . This would help mostly with budgeting.

Mind's Eye is a bit pricey in both CMC and budget wise. 5 mana will make it one of the highest CMC cards in the deck. That alongside having to hold up mana to use it's ability makes it hard for me to see it working.

I'll try out both Ignite the Future and Commune with Lava instead of Act on Impulse . I like that Commune is an instant, so I can hold up mana until the end step before my turn and let it off. It's nice to have the option to use Ignite as a big late game bomb as well. I can see both of them working in the deck, and they might both make the cut.

Profet93 on Torbran, Thane of Incremental Damage

1 year ago


I completely missed the budget aspect, my apologies.

Regarding Skullclamp , even if you don't have tokens, I think it is still good on it's own for mono red because you need that card draw badly. I would say test it and see how it goes, I am fairly confident it will pull it's weight, especially if your meta isn't past a power lvl 6.

If you are going to replace Act on Impulse , switch it for Ignite the Future . It is much better because it requires less of a cost and it has flashback. Moreover, you don't have the mana ramp to abuse Commune with Lava (assuming you have to choose between the 2, personally, I would add both). Do note that you can cast the cards until the end of your next turn so it's much much better than act on impulse.

Does Endless Atlas go over your budget? Magus of the Wheel and Mind's Eye seem cheap enough.

Brynx on Torbran, Thane of Incremental Damage

1 year ago


I would love to include many of the cards you suggested, but I'm trying to keep the deck around $100. If I wanted to increase the budget of the deck, cards like Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx would definitely make the cut. Keeping the deck within this price range has been a fun and interesting challenge. I don't plan on upping the price limit any time soon. Out of what you suggested, some cards stuck out to me:

Myriad Landscape Should be in the deck. Having only 35 lands can get you in trouble real quick if you miss a drop or two. It will be replacing Hellion Crucible in the decks next update.

Skullclamp would probably make it into the earlier versions of this deck. As I play it more, I find that tokens are lacking in power compared to the decks other strategies. Because of this, I've been replacing the worse performing token creation cards.

Humble Defector would be a fun inclusion, but I do see issues with it. The deck tends to make more enemies than friends. I feel I would struggle to find someone to give it back a lot of the time.

Commune with Lava is another card I would consider adding to the deck. I am currently having issues with finding the mana to use Act on Impulse correctly. Either Commune with Lava or Ignite the Future might be replacing it eventually.

Thank you for the suggestions!

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